Space Telescope Science Institute

Postdoctoral Researcher in the field of Interstellar and Circumstellar Dust with JWST- #0004302

The Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI) invites applications for two postdoctoral positions to work with Drs. Martha Boyer and Julia Roman-Duval, and collaborators. The successful applicant(s) will work on either (or both) of two JWST programs. Both programs target the metal-poor nearby galaxy Sextans A with JWST imaging and spectroscopy and focus on understanding how dust forms and evolves in this extremely metal-poor environment. The first program, led by Dr. Martha Boyer, aims to study stellar dust production with a focus on formation efficiency and composition. The second program, led by Dr. Julia Roman-Duval, aims to characterize the abundance and properties of interstellar polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH) particles, with the ultimate goal of understanding the mechanisms responsible for their formation, destruction, and evolution. Dr. Roman-Duval’s program also targets a second metal-poor galaxy: IC 1613.

The successful applicant(s) will work on the measurements and/or scientific analysis of either or both projects. Part of the time may be available for independent research or new projects in related areas.

The successful applicant(s) will work closely as part of the dynamic, welcoming, and inclusive ISM*@STSCI group ( that includes Drs. Erik Tollerud, Karoline Gilbert, Karl Gordon, Joshua Peek, and a number of postdocs and graduate students. The ISM*@ST group has broad scientific interests centered on the interstellar medium, from dust producing stars to the gas and dust in the interstellar and circum-galactic medium. This research will involve working with and, if possible, proposing for observations with Hubble, JWST, and ground-based facilities.

The successful applicant(s) will benefit from the career mentoring program at STScI, interactions with the Johns Hopkins University research staff, and a stimulating work environment rich in colloquia, journal clubs, symposia, and learning opportunities related to the missions supported by STScI (HST, JWST, Roman).

Applicants must hold a Ph.D. degree in Astronomy, Physics, Planetary Science, or related fields at the start of the postdoctoral researcher position. Research experience in the areas of gas-phase abundances, spectroscopy, nearby galaxies, interstellar and/or circumgalactic gas and dust is desirable. Expertise in numerical methods, statistics, and/or comparing observations to numerical simulations is a plus.

The positions are for two years, with a possible renewal for a third year, depending on performance and availability of funding. The nominal start date is summer/fall 2022. STScI, located on Johns Hopkins University Campus in Baltimore, Maryland, offers an excellent benefit package (including comprehensive healthcare and paid parental leave), competitive salaries, and a stimulating work environment. STScI’s pay for postdoctoral researchers is commensurate to the year of Ph.D. We especially welcome applications from women, minorities, veterans, LBGTQ+ people, and other members of underrepresented groups.

Please only this link to apply:

The following materials are requested in a single PDF file: a brief cover letter detailing your research interests and relevant expertise, a curriculum vitae, a list of publications, and a summary of previous and current research (limited to 3 pages). Complete applications received by January 3, 2022, will receive full consideration. Applicants should arrange for three confidential letters of reference to be submitted by January 3, 2022 via the online application system.

Questions regarding the application process can be sent directly to

STScI sees the diversity of our staff as a strategic priority in our desire to create a first-rate scientific community. We reflect that deep commitment in strongly encouraging women, minorities, veterans and disabled individuals to apply for these opportunities. As an Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action Employer, STScI does not discriminate because of race, sex, color, age, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, lawful political affiliations, veteran status, or mental or physical handicap. Veterans, disabled or wounded warriors needing assistance with the employment process can contact us at

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Last updated: 2021-12-30